Enabling physical activity participation for children and youth with disabilities following a goal-directed, family-centred intervention
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Background: There is a paucity of research demonstrating the optimisation and maintenance of participation outcomes following physical activity interventions for children and youth with disabilities. Aim: To evaluate changes in physical activity participation in children with disabilities following a goal-directed, family-centred intervention at a healthsports centre, and to identify factors influencing participation following the intervention. Methods and procedures: A mixed methods pre-test post-test cohort design was applied. Recruitment occurred over a 12 month period during standard clinical service provision. The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) was administered to children and parents pre (T1) and post-intervention (T2), and at 12 weeks follow-up (T3). Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) was applied to assess outcomes at 12 weeks follow-up (T2–T3). Qualitative inquiry described barriers to goal attainment at T3. Outcomes and results: Ninety two children with a range of disabilities (mean age 11.1yr; 49 males) were included in the study. Statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in parent ratings of COPM performance and satisfaction of participation goals were observed following intervention. Ratings at 12 weeks follow-up remained significantly higher than baseline, and 32% of children attained their COPM-derived GAS goal. Environmental factors were the most frequent barrier to goal attainment following intervention. Conclusion and implications: These results provide preliminary evidence for goal-directed, family-centred interventions to optimise physical activity participation outcomes for children with disabilities.
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